Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Keepers

The agent stands above his victim thoughtfully.  The white walls and the sterility of the room are mocked by the spatters of old blood on his frayed laboratory jacket.  The tools of torture lie restlessly on the counter: a probe for the rectum and genitals, a tube to be shoved down the nostrils, various needles and catheters, electric current.  Behind him, in a chest, potions and truth serums ache for acknowledgement.

The memory of the agent's humanity had been submerged long ago under the weight of a brutal apprenticeship.  Loathing and despair were squashed with surgical precision.  This is the price of the health of a nation.  The currency of the cloak and dagger is not to be glamorized. 

These are not subjects discussed in the genteel parlors of the aristocracy.  Nay, silence is the virtue that binds the keepers of societies dirty little secrets.  And rightfully so, the backroom deals and ugliness of the puppeteer does not necessarily need to be disclosed to the innocent little puppets.

The body writhes on the table.  Vomit and stool stain the loosely fit clothing.  The agent is practiced and calm.  He studies the victim and makes adjustments.  An assistant leans over the counter and and repositions a probe before leaving the room silently.  Light floods the eyes and the ears are assaulted by various beepings and ringings. 

If there ever was a hell on earth, than this would be it.

The agent looks up at the clock and then rushes toward the glass door.  His shift is over and his family awaits.  His son and daughter want to see their father.

He exits the hospital.

His life's work put on hold till another day, till another sad soul with shaky voice whispers the secret code that sets his diabolical training in action.

Do everything.


William Reichert said...

You need to take a vacation before
your condition gets worse.

Jim Salwitz said...

Such is the deep conflict which plagues the doctor; the terrible burden to beget suffering while trying desperately to end it. A rarely viewed dark corner of medicine.


Anonymous said...

I know there are messages here about the shape of current day medical practice but it reads like part of a chapter out of a James Patterson book.